In any sport, if you can bring your best to the big occasion then you are going to do very well for yourself, no doubt about it. Being able to live with the pressure of the spotlight and still deliver is a very worthy attribute to have indeed.
That is a decent way to sum up Liverpool this season, who completed the double over Merseyside rivals Everton in a 3-1 romp. That continues the Reds’ fine form in big games, with their record this term against the ‘top six’ (the current top six with Everton included instead of Liverpool) reading W7 D5 L0. Jurgen Klopp must take a lot of credit for instilling a winning mentality in his side in these huge matches.
Conversely, it is encounters with the Premier League’s so-called ‘lesser sides’ that prove a bigger obstacle for the German. Liverpool have lost five league games this term and all to teams in the bottom half of the division. One such outing was the debacle at Bournemouth, where the Reds somehow tossed away a 3-1 lead with 15 minutes to go to lose 4-3.
Why can’t this group of players raise their game for these bread-and-butter matches? You’d have to call in a psychologist to get an answer to that question, but surely motivation won’t be a problem as they seek to dish out some retribution to the Cherries on Wednesday evening.
If they carry on the momentum from their fine win against the Toffees on Saturday, then really they should have no problems. Sadio Mane’s early goal set the tone and despite an Everton equaliser shortly after, further strikes from Phil Coutinho and Divock Origi ensured the victory was completed and a fully deserved one it was too.
Now we just need to get the job done against a bottom-half side to keep the resurgence going….
Liverpool Team News
You have to put up with a bit of rain to get to the rainbow, as Dolly Parton sang (we’ve paraphrased a bit). But never a truer word has been spoken, as despite the delight in overcoming the blue half of the city we now have what appears to be a crocked Sadio Mane.
The Senegalese ace limped off on Saturday with what appeared to be a nasty injury – he collapsed as soon as he put any weight on his leg soon after, and the concern now is that he will miss the bulk of the rest of the campaign.
With Adam Lallana sidelined for at least a month and Jordan Henderson still not ready for a first team return, that is a cruel blow for Klopp. Others – notably Divock Origi, who was excellent when he came on against Everton – will need to step up to the plate.
After a horrific spell in January and February during which they went seven games without a win (W0 D2 L5), conceding 20 goals, Eddie Howe’s extra work on the training ground has clearly paid off in March and into April.
They have conceded just three goals in their last four outings, including two clean sheets on the spin against Swansea and Southampton, and that improvement defensively has led to better results (W2 D2 L0). Once again, Howe has shown his class as a coach.
So the Cherries will be in confident mood on Wednesday, and the only thing that may dampen their spirits is the knowledge that 24 of their 34 points gained this season have come on home soil. Their away record – W2 D4 L9 – suggests Liverpool have every chance of claiming all three points.
Liverpool vs Bournemouth Betting Tips
There are two anomalies here that need to be addressed prior to placing any bets: firstly, Bournemouth’s improvement defensively and a lack of creative spark in midfield from Liverpool’s perspective.
On any given day we would anticipate a Liverpool vs Bournemouth duel to be high scoring, but those two items outlined above would suggest otherwise. As such, we’ll be going with Under 2.5 Goals at 7/4.
If you’re feeling particularly flush then how about Liverpool to Win & Under 2.5 Goals at a princely 7/2? Of the 13 league matches the Reds have failed to win only four have been at home, while Bournemouth’s away record speaks for itself; despite their recent improvement.
If we follow these trends to the bitter end, then Dutching Liverpool to win 1-0 and 2-0 at 17/2 and 15/2 respectively is certainly worth a try.